Olga PotaptsevaOlga PotaptsevaMay 11, 2020
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8min1333

Back in January I was getting ready to present at a conference in London and the subject of my talk was going to be examining global social trends and their future CX impact. 

Naively, we thought we could measure, forecast, and quantify major social and economic trends. Until the unexpected happened…

The truth is though, any business and any CX team always operate under pressure from the unstructured external environment, unpredictable events, risks, and change. Over the past 10 years business planning and transformation cycles at least halved, ‘clear’ strategies get reversed mid-year and planning your CX initiatives is only relatively accurate at best.

So, how on Earth are you supposed to demonstrate tangible results from your CX projects when everything seems to change at the speed of light and there is never enough time, resources or people?

Consider the 7 pillars of agile CX management. Applying them to most common CX challenges, such as demonstrating ROI, creating a collaborative customer-centric environment and achieving management buy-in, delivers 3-4 times faster project execution, easy team re-focus supported by clear rules and work practices as well as reduced stress due to frequent feedback and continuous change management.

7 pillars of agile CX management:

Do this every year

1. Business strategy mapping

Your CX strategy should stem from and support the overall business strategy. Understanding your (evolving) business goals will ensure your team is clear on priorities, decision making is fast and reliable and CX projects get the investment, buy-in and attention they require. At the time of crisis business strategy may change which will require an emergency review of your CX projects and tasks.

Do this every month

2. Project maps

This is where you describe your main CX projects using a specific template that includes goals, purposes, success criteria, timing, risks and dependencies. You will map the main project stages and ensure to add a monthly status report and next steps, linking it to your tasks.

Do these 2 things every week

3. Weekly 1-1.5h progress & planning

This meeting is to set goals for the week by discussing what needs to be done, potential risks and first steps, as well as reviewing any tasks in progress. It is good time to discuss the status, next best action, and any learnings from completed tasks. We use it as an excellent team motivation tool with team members seeing themselves positively for achievements and achievable goal setting.

4. CX KPIs board

This is an excellent instrument for CX leaders to track how your tasks contribute towards achieving results in strategic CX projects. As an example, one of your projects could be to demonstrate contact centre cost reduction coupled with customer satisfaction improvement on at least 5 projects this year.

You may have planned a number of tasks, such as journey mapping to achieve this. The CX KPIs board allows you to track how each of the tasks advances you to the overall project success and prompts to re-focus effort if needed.

These 3 things you should do every day

5. Fill in a task board (we use Trello)

An online task board is a single repository for all ideas that ensures nothing is lost in notebooks, coffee stained pieces of paper or by the water cooler. It is visible to all team members ensuring full transparency and avoiding duplication.

For maximum effectiveness CX leaders use a task board up to 5 times a day to capture all, even very minor tasks! The task board should be used in 15-minute morning briefings and weekly progress & planning.

6. Use a template for setting tasks

In our CX Implementation Toolkit we always recommend using a specific template for setting tasks that ensures the task is aimed to achieve a specific result and everyone is clear as to why we are doing it, how  and by when we shall expect the outcome.

A badly written task (that I often see coming out of CX maturity assessment sessions) would be to map customer journeys. You can make it into an effective one: Organise a groups of 5 colleagues from Marketing, Service, Customer Experience, Finance and Distribution by 10th of June to map 3 priority customer journeys (X,Y,Z) that have the biggest impact on customer value.

A good tip is to ensure a task always starts with an action verb, has more than 5 words and will be as clear if revisited in 2 years’ time.

7. Conduct a daily 15-minute morning briefing

A morning briefing will help you gather all valuable ideas and understand any changes without disruption to the much-needed focus during the day. You will be able to eliminate instances of ‘This new product is totally going to rock, let’s discuss right now’ or ‘We should set up a fund for our contact centre agents for ‘gestures of good will’, let’s work on it once we have some time’ and ‘We wanted to interview that customer, but I thought it was due next week’.

A morning briefing is a quick review of what has been done yesterday, what is planned for today and any known obstacles.

By introducing the structure and the rigour of project management into you CX, you will combat uncertainty, ensure your projects fit in with the business strategy, are supported by meaningful tasks that get executed quickly. This will demonstrate tangible results 3-4 times faster and secure the buy-in from stakeholders, colleagues, and immediate team members.

Please support us in CX Maturity assessment across the world by filling in this 7 minute survey:  https://survey2connect.com/O/CXmaturity

All contributors will have a chance to register for a free report within the survey.

Olga PotaptsevaOlga PotaptsevaJanuary 7, 2020
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6min2301

When Satya Nadella took over Microsoft, he didn’t begin with a focus on the competition or restructured product portfolio; rather he set out to rebuild the company’s culture starting with redefining the mission of the company.

He engaged all its employees to recommend the new mission for the company, and with its new north star, the firm’s stocks prices tripled since he became CEO. This just illustrates the importance of employee engagement, with the objective to inspire the company to serve its customers in deeper, meaningful, and more purposeful ways.

To drive employee engagement with the Customer Experience agenda, companies should persistently focus on these four broad categories…

Leadership

Establish a CX vision and ‘walk the talk’: A CX vision creates clarity around a company’s intended experience and helps all employees understand how best they can contribute to provide better customer experiences. Alan G Lafley, the man who transformed Procter & Gamble, would make it a point to visit the retail stores around the world and observe the shopping behaviour of the customers, thereby exhibiting the behaviours for his leadership to follow.

The top leadership needs to be trained and inspired in driving CX across the organisation by taking tangible steps to remove blockers like long approvals hierarchy, short-term profit chasing, and toxic employee behaviours.

Ways of working

Cross functional collaboration: Fortune 500 companies are improving collaboration through internal hackathons that involve having people from different functions problem solving together in groups. IBM holds internal hackathons called Cognitive Build, where employees from across the world participate in the competition by forming teams of different people from different countries and different functions, aligning their perspective on CX and sharing customer knowledge.

Agile transformation & design thinking: Methodologies are being used to continually adapt to changing customer preferences, as it allows you to quickly test your hypothesis with customers and co-create solutions with them.

Developing emotional intelligence: This is the ability to understand how customers feel and take this into account when solving business issues at any level. It is only recently that emotional intelligence has become a topic of significant importance, and the one that gives a real competitive advantage in the current environment. 

Customer immersion

Customer immersion programs: These help employees empathise and walk in the customer’s shoes. At Airbnb, every new employee goes on a trip and documents the entire customer journey, which will then be presented and shared with the entire company as insights, pain points, challenges, and opportunities.

Customer immersion is not limited to journey mapping, and involves continuous learning about customers’ needs and wants, as well as understanding your ability to meet them. Each employee in different parts of the organisation should be able to relate to how his role and department create value to the company’s customers.

Employee listening and involvement

CX governance: Listen to customer feedback though the employees, and establish an empowerment and escalation system whereby no customer problem goes unnoticed. In my work at a UK insurance company, I developed an employee feedback system for customer issues and within weeks we started receiving up to 4000 suggestions a month.

Sixty percent were addressed within the same month by addressing operational errors quickly, fixing broken processes, and preventing complaints resulting in cost savings. It also delivered continuous improvement in customer satisfaction with the contact centre (+5% over the course of the year).

Employee experience: Companies like Coca Cola and SCB Bank are using design thinking and employee journey mapping to transform their employee experience globally, focusing on employees’ daily journeys. Shifting the organisational focus from process to people creates more engaged and loyal employees able to deliver your CX strategy.

Recognition and reward system: This should encourage the behaviours creating value to customers. If courtesy and speed of service are of paramount importance to your customers, like it is to Hertz’s, these should be targeted and rewarded based on the customer feedback.




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